Sunday, November 7, 2010

Obama live

Mumbai virtually shutting down despite the biggest festival, hundreds of snipers deployed on roof top of Taj and other spots on the itinerary, a convoy of cars carrying 3000 secret service agents, government agents and journalists following him, 34 warships patrolling the sea lanes off the Mumbai coast and an ordinary expense of $200 million a day to support all this... it isn't everyday the President of United States visits the nation. $200 mill a day... and I worry when I go slightly over my $25 dinner limit on my expense statements. Oh the disparities! In a naive almost silly kind of way, it makes me feel insecure about being on the US soil in the meantime. If he's taking away all the powerful men-in-black look alikes, who's protecting us? The Hulk?

Besides briefing the President on the economic deals in the works with India, I suspect the council of economic advisors had gotten Mr. and Mrs. Obama to learn about the Indian stereotypes from the hyped series 'Outsourced'. What else can explain Michelle dancing effortlessly on a punju song on day one and a marathi one on day two and the president going straight from celebrating diwali with kids to shaking a leg on the kholi number to tackling his toughest questions yet... those from the students of Xaviers college. The questions were neither innocuous nor subtle but the President answered them with poise. Each response seemed well structured, honest and sincere. If Bush had to sit through it along with the students, he would have been snoring by answer #2. If Bush has to answer those questions, he would have cracked one liners, made monkey faces and choked on a gum. But this isn't about Bush so I'll leave him alone to chase a moose wearing a santa cap or whatever he's doing in the Texan countryside.

Whether he's giving a speech for a premature Nobel or on the grim morning after the state election results, the president has never failed to deliver an earnest one. He wowed India Inc. with precisely that as he announced a $10 billion economic deal that'd create 50k jobs here. His message was clear; if you take our jobs, I'll fly out here, make you all work on a Diwali weekend and get the jobs back. I see those hurt... err the patriots gloating already "now they need our help... after rejecting my visa twice and not extending my brother's h1, now they need our help". No surprises that the two countries are likely to sign agreements in every field from trade and commerce to agriculture to monsoon studies to US universities to energy.

Later he vowed the student community as he made them aware of their future responsibilities. One minute the kids had plans to bunk classes and hog on paneer kathi kababs at the canteen and the other minute, they were thinking about how they could contribute in maintaining economic relations with the US. Nice touch! I anticipate an inflow of thousands of entries in the blogosphere titled 'My (insert activity here) with Obama' in the next few hours. Needless to say, the 'activity' will range from an eye-to-eye to a handshake to a hug to a dinner to as much as a life altering experience (for those trying to get more hits). Good thing Karan Johar released 'My name is khan' last year. SRK's motive in the movie would have lost its fizz after this.

As Mr. President makes his way to Delhi to meet with the PM and several other ministers and dignitaries (AR Rehman and Aamir Khan included) more talks will happen and more deals will get signed. All I can hope for is, amidst his packed schedule, he doesn't forget to bring us back a requisite turban picture a la Clinton style. I also can’t wait for Obama to declare Diwali a national holiday in US next year out of guilt if nothing else.


Parul said...

You have such an entertaining writing style..Now if only you could get Obama to read that last line! :)

Pari said...

thanks babe :) i know right. i'm hopeful it'll happen one day (the national holiday part).